DORSET County Council will not be outsourcing its backroom services.

The council’s cabinet was discussing options for transforming the work it does behind-the-scenes at a meeting on Wednesday (December 16) which could see crucial departments such as IT, finances and human resources undergo major changes.

The cabinet agreed to reject an option to outsource council services.

One of four options presented to the council was to let a contract to a commercial partner to delivery support services but the council rejected this.

Councillors agreed to further develop a strategy to evaluate two further options, a combination of continuing to improve support services mainly through council staff alongside joining or forming a shared service with other local authorities and recruiting a partner to help the Council transform its support services.

These options were recommended as the council sees them as the most promising.

It is not yet known how many jobs are at risk at the council, or if anyone will be made redundant.

Councillors also agreed to consult the public early next year on the changes to backroom services.

Cllr Robin Cook cabinet member for corporate development said that while the council doesn’t spend too much money on these services, it could be used more efficiently.

He said: “We don’t actually spend a tremendous amount. We’re very much in line with what would be expected but we don’t really get value for money.”

It was recommended councillors reject outsourcing all backroom operation as it is unlikely to be sufficiently flexible in the future.

Cllr Cook said that ideally, all services would be kept in house but that this isn’t possible and gave his support to the council’s support staff.

He said: “We want to give these hard working people the tools to do their job in a bit more of an effective way. That is the aim here. In an ideal world we’d look to keep all of this in house.”

Dorset County Council needs to find £45 million over the next three years due to a reduction in the grants it receives and the changes to the backroom services is part of this.


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